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The application of nutraceuticals in the field of male sexual function -in particular for erectile dysfunction (ED) - remains relatively under-explored. In a group of 54 unselected men (35-75 years), consecutively presenting to our ED clinic and naive to other ED treatments, we carried out a single-blind, one-arm study to evaluate the effects of a 3-month supplementation with propionyl-L-carnitine, L-arginine and niacin on their sexual performance. All patients had the short-international index of erectile function (IIEF) questionnaire, global assessment questions (GAQs) and routine laboratory testing, at baseline and 3 months afterward. 51 (92%) patients of 54 completed the entire study period. After 3 months of treatment, a small, but statistical significant improvement in total and single items of the IIEF was found (Δ = 5.7 ± 4.1 P < 0.01). Analyses on GAQs revealed that treatment improved erections in 40% of cases, with a partial response occurring in up to 77% of enrolled subjects. These preliminary findings indicate that the favourable cardiovascular effects of nutraceuticals might also reflect on male sexual function with possible implication in the treatment and prevention of ED. This study documents a considerable patients' interest toward nutritional supplementation - as first-line or adjunctive treatment to PDE5 inhibitors - that goes beyond the measurable increment in penile rigidity.
Department of Experimental Medicine, Pathophysiology Section, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy; INSERM U1060, CarMeN Laboratory, University Lyon, Lyon, France.
This article was published in the following journal.
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An enzyme that catalyzes the formation of O-acetylcarnitine from acetyl-CoA plus carnitine. EC 220.127.116.11.
Therapeutic approach tailoring therapy for genetically defined subgroups of patients.
Acyltransferases in the inner mitochondrial membrane that catalyze the reversible transfer of acyl groups from acyl-CoA to L-carnitine and thereby mediate the transport of activated fatty acids through that membrane. EC 2.3.1.
An enzyme that catalyzes the HYDROXYLATION of gamma-butyrobetaine to L-CARNITINE. It is the last enzyme in the biosynthetic pathway of L-CARNITINE and is dependent on alpha-ketoglutarate; IRON; ASCORBIC ACID; and OXYGEN.
Disturbances in sexual desire and the psychophysiologic changes that characterize the sexual response cycle and cause marked distress and interpersonal difficulty. (APA, DSM-IV, 1994)
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Erectile dysfunction (ED or impotence) is the inability to get and maintain an erection that is sufficient for satisfactory sexual intercourse, and affects half of all men between the ages of 40 to 70. The causes of ED can be both physical and psycholo...